A Helping Hand To Haiti With Clean Water Project
Theresults of a student project in the machining and welding classes at the Lennoxville Vocational Training Centre (LVTC), will have a direct impact
on clean drinking water in Haiti. The yearlong project, led by LVTC teacher Shayne Mackey, has produced molds that will be used to make biosand filters that turn ‘brown’ surface water into clean drinking water.
In 2011, Mr. Mackey was ready to make a donation to the Clean Water for Haiti project. In reviewing how their biosand filters were produced he saw not only an opportunity to give more than a monetary donation but a way to involve his students in a work project that would give back. By having the students make the molds for the bio sand filters they would be working on the various competencies necessary for learning their trade as well as a powerful lesson in social responsibility. Bringing life lessons into the welding shop was a new twist that was eagerly endorsed by Mr. Mackey’s colleagues as well as the students.
“When I spoke with my fellow teachers here at the centre about the project and started explaining that over 3.5 million people die each year from water related disease, with most of them being children under the age of five, the response was, how can we help” stated Mr. Mackey. “Haiti is the number one water impoverished country in the world, with the highest infant mortality rate in the world. I knew we had the skills here to build the molds to make the biosand filters and now I knew we had the people on board to make it happen. The goal was to produce 10 molds and in the end we have 20 ready to send to Haiti.”
The welding and machining students now met the challenge of honing the competencies necessary for building the molds with the added goal of their final class projects offering a second chance to children and families in Haiti. “We usually work on projects to make tools for our own trade and shop. It was really rewarding to work on something that we knew was going to change thousands of people’s lives, for the better,” commented Charles Gauthier, a student at the centre who was involved in the project.
The last step is to send the molds to Haiti, where they can be used to start making the filters and saving lives. In discussions with the driving school, the
Mr. Mackey has been able to secure trans- portation from Lennoxville to the port of Montreal. “I would like to personally thank Alain Piché, Annie Gauthier and René Labrie, for their generosity and enabling us to get the molds to the port. The last hurdle was raising the funds needed for the shipping costs from Montreal to Haiti and our centre has offered to cover it”, expressed Mr. Mackey.
The centre, which is part of the Eastern Townships School Board, offers nine accredited programs leading to a Diploma of Vocational Studies, including: Machining Techniques, Welding and Fitting, Accounting, Secretarial Studies, Health Assistance and Nursing, Assistance to Patients in Health Facilities, Home Care Assistance, Professional Sales, and Representation.
Students at the Lennoxville Vocational Training Centre benefit from highly qualified bilingual teachers. The recently renovated centre boasts modern equipment and a cordial family atmosphere
Students in the LVTC machining and welding classes have produced molds to make biosand filters to purify water, getting a lesson in social responsibility at the same time. The molds will be sent to Haiti.